Relevant to the discussion on Foundation issues... The NY Times reports on Google's research into what made some teams succeed and some fail.
Short answer: Team norms to respect the individual members, for everyone to get a chance to talk and contribute and be heard.
George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone
I am starting a new thread because I disagree with the idea that the WMF
should be a high-tech organization as the other thread by Brion seemed to
suggest. Yes, technology is a tool that we use in our mission to gather and
process all forms of human knowledge, but in the end the driving force is
Without volunteers there wouldn't be any movement and there wouldn't be any
need for tools, or any donations whatsoever. It is the concept of working
for free for the common good that allows us to exist and fulfill our
mission. The WMF is instrumental in providing the tools for it to happen,
but those tools are not only technological, they are also legal,
educational, and social, however when talking through computer screens we
seem to forget that.
A hi-tech tool can work for a given task or not, but there are more
important topics like trust, commitment, empowerment, motivation, and joy
that cannot be assessed so easily, and that are at least as crucial as any
software. What is the point of having a perfect tool Z if I don't enjoy
working with my fellows on a common mission?
The role of nurturing volunteers is not exclusive of affiliate
organizations, the WMF offer grants to volunteers and organizes several
gatherings. Is that enough to strengthen the volunteer community? Then I
look at organizations like WOOF or workaway that thrive with full-time
volunteers and I wonder if more opportunities could be opened for our
Is there anything holding us back to try new things besides old patterns of
It is a challenge to do more for the volunteer community without resorting
to grants or payment, but that is the key to succeed as a volunteer
organization, to provide an ecosystem where personal growth is possible.
I am interested in hearing what others have to say about it. Maybe it is
possible to gather ideas or even a team of people who wants to research
more information about the topic.
BrewDog, a Scotland-based "hipster brewery" - for want of a better phrase -
have just "open-sourced" their entire recipe collection.
You can read more at https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/diy-dog.
It's not entirely clear what "licence" they're using but they say:
*"copy them, tear them to pieces, bastardise them, adapt them, but most of
all, enjoy them. They are well travelled but with plenty of miles still
left on the clock. Just remember to share your brews, and share your
results. Sharing is caring."*
I guess "free as in beer" has a slightly different meaning now!
0207 065 0992
Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).
*Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*
Here is a note that I just sent to the staff mailing list (stuck in a
queue at the moment, so some staff will see it here first.).
I am coming to San Francisco on Saturday for a few days to meet with a
lot of you. I know many of you are not actually in San Francisco, so
I'll be sure to set aside time for remote meetings as well.
By now you of course have heard that Lila is leaving us, and my hope is
that we're going to enter a new era of stability and productivity. And
for that to happen, the board - including me - needs to hear from you,
to listen and learn.
Brion Vibber, who I hired as the first ever employee of the Foundation,
said this to me on Facebook recently: "Jimmy Wales welcome back to the
conversation. I look forward to how you address the current crisis, and
hope it will involve the kind of careful listening and thoughtful
consideration that I remember from 2001."
That's what I want, too. I want to listen and I want to help the board
make good decisions.
For me, the mission - a free encyclopedia for every single person on the
planet, in their own language - is what brought us all together. It's
what keeps us going even in difficult times. But my view is that it
doesn't have to be difficult times. Working at the WMF should be - and
will be, I really think - a joy: the joy of working with the best
colleagues, the joy of doing work that matters to the world, and the joy
of working for the fantastic global community of Wikipedians.
I'll be reaching out to some of you - probably starting with people I
already know - but please reach out to me as well if you'd like to meet.
I'm in SF from Saturday afternoon through Wednesday evening, so
depending on demand, I may not be able to see everyone, but I'd like to
get a good overview.
'workshop' shouts to me that it is a real life, real time event that people
can register for, and attend (in person or remotely). The page seems to
suggest however (at a quick glance) that it is rather an online discussion
forum. Maybe good to clarify that immediately at the top of the page, given
the potentially confusing title that it has.
Another thing I would find helpful (maybe a bit too obvious for you) is
clearly stating expectations and goals at the top. What are you trying to
accomplish? (options that come to mind is reducing harassment, or helping
people to deal with (accept? fight? hide?) harrassment. I expect the
Finally, a thing that was also mentioned by Liz at the page (and maybe by
others), is that in a multilingual community like ours, it is really tough
to discuss sensitive issues like this without a very clear understanding of
what we're talking about. People probably have very different expectations
of what you mean with 'harrassment'. My first thought with the word was
basically sexual or physical harrassment, with real life or near-real life
aspects. At Wikimania I got a better understanding that apparently others
were using a much wider definition of the word.
Hopefully will clarifications like the above on the page reduce the
threshold to participate, especially for those that are not native speakers
(and who have more trouble to read through the whole page to get an
(also posted this on the talkpage)
On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 3:27 AM, Patrick Earley <pearley(a)wikimedia.org>
> Hello all,
> With a lot of discussion on multiple issues going on, I know it can be
> hard to find time or "bandwidth" for an problem with no easy solutions.
> But some of the community has started to work on some approaches to the
> problem of harassment at the workshop on Meta. 
> It's an issue that isn't going away on its own, and we've started
> gathering some possible ways forward. We'd love to see you there.
>  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Harassment_workshop
> Best regards,
> Patrick Earley
> Senior Community Advocate
> Wikimedia Foundation
> (1) 415 975 1874
> Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately
> directed to Wikimedia-l, the public mailing list of the Wikimedia
> community. For more information about Wikimedia-l:
> WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
No, I am not making a general statement about what should go in the
minutes. But in this case, the chair of the board (and others, I believe)
have misrepresented things. I mentioned the vote (irrespective of whether I
can prove it) as a piece of evidence that exists to prove the decision was
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
I have been sent a possible correction. When I had stated a "formal vote"
had taken place some are of the position that this was simple a straw poll.
Not sure if Geoff Brigham can clarify.
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian
The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
You probably know Jacek Halicki. And even if you don't - you probably
have seen his pictures. Jacek has contributed about 9000 photographs to
Wikimedia Commons (many of them are Quality, Featured or Good Images). It
was not easy for him - Jacek has a severe mobility impairment and is unable
to walk on his own. He moves around on a special tricycle. Imagine how hard
it is for a photographer, especially if he specializes in photographing
narrow streets of small towns.
Jacek has done a lot for Wikimedia projects. And now he needs our help. His
computer has been stolen from him, and without it he can't share his works
with Wikimedia projects. He has started a campaign to raise funds for a
new computer. Please support him in any way you can. By contributing or
just sharing the story with your friends or through social media. Thank